The Selection Process – Giro Stage 14

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Stage 13 was a good day for Primoz Roglic, a great day for Mikel Landa, and an even better one for stage winner Ilnur Zakarin. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for insight into just how good the stealthy Vincenzo Nibali is feeling. More mountains tomorrow.

The Just Profile

An early category two climb guarantees another bold breakaway (as well as a collective cry of despair from the remaining sprinters). The next two climbs combine for over 20 km of climbing but it’s the fourth – the Colle San Carlo – where we should see some major divisions; 10% for 10 km. A long, gentle descent follows before riders climb to Courmayeur on an average 3% slope. Despite not being tackled by the Giro, Mont Blanc will loom in the background at the finish. Despite the lack of a ‘proper’ summit finish, this is another satisfying slice of the Italian Alps.

Breakaway bingo tomorrow… a mixture of those who went well today (good legs) and those who were absent (fresh legs).

Launch a Quid – Joe Dombrowski 125/1

It’s time for EF Education First to do something in this Giro. That’s not a criticism, I just think they have been waiting for these sort of stages. I originally had Tanel Kangert penned for this slot but he seems interesting in hunting a high GC finish. Joe Dombrowski is the next best bet and was solid in today’s break.

Launch a Quid – Diego Ulissi 200/1

Diego Ulissi jumped out at me as the best climber to effectively have a “day off” today. He rolled in thirty minutes down and I doubt he would have worked that hard for the team over the last week. I’m really hoping he’s got something planned (and he’s not just shattered) because tomorrow will push him to his limit.

Launch a Fiver – Alexis Vuillermoz & Tony Gallopin 150/1 & 125/1

I have nothing more to say but I’m on them both again. Both are climbing reasonably well, but they need to have a proper chat on the team bus tonight.

Launch a Fiver – Davide Formolo 50/1

Despite being cut from the main breakaway group, Formolo plugged on today for a performance that provided more positives than negatives. Unless Formolo gets asked to work for Majka tomorrow (unlikely considering this such a big race for him), I think he is a safe bet to be involved in the stage hunt.

And One For Luck – Primoz Roglic 10/1

He looked much better today (not that he ever really had a wobble) and will enjoy the finish to tomorrow’s stage. His odds aren’t amazing but I really fancy him to better his GC rivals on the final drag.

Any Other Business

Yates wasn’t bluffing. He looks empty. Perhaps he’ll nose dive and become a premium stage hunter in the final week. Or launch a 80 km solo attack in the Dolomites. Or just abandon.

A quick word on the brilliant Mikel Landa. Clearly in superb form but he’s got a mammoth effort ahead of him to gain a healthy time time buffer.

Trivia

Running with yesterday’s theme, the Skyway Monte Bianco (Courmayeur) cable car was used in 2016 action/comedy movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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